Category: General

Q&A: How do I start a marriage discipleship ministry?

Question: I would like to start a marriage discipleship ministry at my church. Where do I begin?

Answer: I think you begin by talking to your pastor…let him know your passion, let him know your vision, let him know what you would like to do. I suggest you start very simply. Choose five couples in your church that you think have a fairly good marriage. Then, tell them because you think they have a healthy marriage that you want to have the experience of leading them through a marriage enrichment program. Next, you choose a program—you can choose from my materials or you could choose from other materials—and you take those five couples through the program.

At the end of that, one or two of them will say “Hey, we could lead a group like this.” You recruit them—You let them lead the next group and then you start another group. It doesn’t take long until you’re taking scores and scores of people through a marriage enrichment program.

How did you come to give your life to Christ?

Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father, unless the Spirit draws Him.” God’s method of drawing us is ‘love’. The amazing thing is that God individualizes His expressions of love. To put it another way, He speaks our love language. The man whose love language is physical touch, will say, “I felt God. My body was shaking. Tears were flowing down my face.”

Another man will say, “I came to Christ because I was overcome with the reality that Christ actually was willing to take my punishment and die.” His love language was ‘acts of service’. He saw Christ’s death on the cross as the supreme act of service.

We Love God by Loving Others

Jesus said, “As often as you do it unto one of the least of these my brothers, you do it unto me.”  We love God by loving others.  However, how we express love will depend on our love language. My love language is Words of Affirmation. Therefore, I find myself freely giving encouraging words to those I meet. My wife’s love language is acts of service. So, she is always doing things to help people.

I have a friend who is always giving gifts. And another, who loves to take people to lunch and spend time listening as they share their stories. And yet another, who is always giving people hugs and pats on the back. All of us are loving God by loving others. We differ only in the love language we speak.

What is The Greatest Commandment of All?

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Why would you want to love God? The Apostle John said, “We love God because He first loved us.” Some time ago, I began a study of the various ways in which God expresses His love to us.

I discovered that God speaks all five love languages fluently: Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. That study led to the publishing of my book: God Speaks Your Love Language. What makes one person feel loved does not necessarily make another person feel loved. God knows you and He chooses to speak your love language.

Why do Christians Sometimes Criticize Each Other?

Recently I heard a man say, “I don’t understand these people who spend all of their time in church singing praise songs. If they really loved God, why don’t they work in the soup kitchen. I think God must get sick of their singing the same old songs week after week and never doing anything to show their love by serving others.”

This man does not understand that people express their love to God in different ways, because they have different love languages.  If Acts of Service is your love language, then yes, you work in the soup kitchen. If Receiving Gifts is your love language, then you show your love to God by giving. While Quality Time people love God best by having extended daily quiet times.

Q&A: Can our marriage grow if we are apart often?

Question: My husband is a long haul truck driver and only home a short time. How can you have a growing marriage when you only see each other about 36 hours per week?

Answer: First of all, think about our military couples who don’t see each other at all for 12 months. Marriage is not about proximity. Marriage is about two hearts beating together for each other. Together or apart, we are seeking each other’s well-being. We are praying for them, doing what we can to help them, and keeping in touch via phone, e-mail, or texting.

I would encourage you to make the most of the 36 hours you have together each week. Be kind, thoughtful, and loving. Speak each others love language. If you have issues, talk with a pastor or counselor, or read a book. When your time together is pleasant, then your time apart can also be pleasant. Of course, if you argue when you are together, then there is no comfort while you are apart. A strong marriage can endure times of separation.

Q&A: Can our marriage grow if we are apart often?

Question: My husband is a long haul truck driver and only home a short time. How can you have a growing marriage when you only see each other about 36 hours per week?

Answer: First of all, think about our military couples who don’t see each other at all for 12 months. Marriage is not about proximity. Marriage is about two hearts beating together for each other. Together or apart, we are seeking each other’s well-being. We are praying for them, doing what we can to help them, and keeping in touch via phone, e-mail, or texting.

I would encourage you to make the most of the 36 hours you have together each week. Be kind, thoughtful, and loving. Speak each others love language. If you have issues, talk with a pastor or counselor, or read a book. When your time together is pleasant, then your time apart can also be pleasant. Of course, if you argue when you are together, then there is no comfort while you are apart. A strong marriage can endure times of separation.

Q&A: Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions?

Question: Do you believe in New Year’s Resolutions? It seems that every year I make a list, but seldom accomplish my goals.  Consequently, I feel guilty. I’m beginning to think it would be better not to make the list.

Answer: I can certainly identify with this perspective, but I do believe in New Year’s Resolutions. All of us need to evaluate our lives periodically, and the beginning of a new year is a good time to do that. Let me share some ideas that can make this a positive experience. First, make your objectives realistic. Don’t shoot for the moon. Second, make your goals measurable. Better to say, I plan to have a quiet time with God at least once a week this year. Than to say, I’ll do it every day. This is both realistic and measurable.

Third, pray that God will give you wisdom on how to reach your goals. If you want to loose 20 pounds, you need to have a plan.  God can guide you to the plan that is right for you. And Fourth, don’t measure your worth by your performance. You are valued by God, even if you don’t keep your resolutions.

Q&A: Do you believe in New Year's resolutions?

Question: Do you believe in New Year’s Resolutions? It seems that every year I make a list, but seldom accomplish my goals.  Consequently, I feel guilty. I’m beginning to think it would be better not to make the list.

Answer: I can certainly identify with this perspective, but I do believe in New Year’s Resolutions. All of us need to evaluate our lives periodically, and the beginning of a new year is a good time to do that. Let me share some ideas that can make this a positive experience. First, make your objectives realistic. Don’t shoot for the moon. Second, make your goals measurable. Better to say, I plan to have a quiet time with God at least once a week this year. Than to say, I’ll do it every day. This is both realistic and measurable.

Third, pray that God will give you wisdom on how to reach your goals. If you want to loose 20 pounds, you need to have a plan.  God can guide you to the plan that is right for you. And Fourth, don’t measure your worth by your performance. You are valued by God, even if you don’t keep your resolutions.

Q&A: How do you prevent post-Christmas depression?

Question: How do you keep from being depressed after the gifts are all distributed, the family is all gone and the Christmas tree stands empty in the corner?

Answer: Well, that’s where all of us are today, Right? I don’t mean we are all depressed, but the empty tree now stands in the corner. For some of you, the extended family will remain for a few days, but by Friday they will be gone. No question about it, there can be an emotional ‘let-down’ after Christmas. We have been so busy, doing so many things. We may be emotionally spent.

My suggestion is that you have a daily quiet time with God each morning this week. You might read the book of Philippians, one chapter each day. Ask God to speak to you through His word. After reading, talk to God about what you read. Ask questions, express thanks, make requests. A conversation with God each day can keep you from the after Christmas blahs.  After all, He came to give us abundant life.